2005 Year in Review Survey

This is a Christmas present a friend of mine sent me because he knows how much I love filling out forms (thanks Mike!). And I have to say that this is one of the better survey things i've filled out. Anyone else interested in filling it out is welcome to, I love reading them just as much as I love filling them in.

2005 Year in Review Survey

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
I saw the Rolling Stones in concert, and I played bass (in front of people)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I dont think I made any new years resolutions, and the only one I really have for this year is to try to be more productive.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Does the USA count?

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
An acceptance letter from UMD, and a new hobby

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
hmm... just one specific day... i'm really not too sure, i'll have to come back to this one.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
two things: 1- Matt and I fixed up our backyard... i realize this is nothing special for most, but it was the first time I did something like that. 2- Also, filling up my piano studio was a pretty good accomplishment.

9. What was your biggest failure?
hmm... not managing my time efficiently

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
yes, apparently working with little kids makes you sick all the time (I use to never be sick). and I found out that my shoulder is all messed up... but I actually got that injury in 2004 so I'm not sure it counts.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my new coat!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my sister Elizabeth for graduating from the Culinary Institue of America, and my brother for graduating from Mason.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
i cant think of anyone

14. Where did most of your money go?
into the house and into the IRS

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
going cross country skiing in colorado!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
Girl by Beck, I listened to it all summer

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or Sadder?: happier
ii. Thinner or Fatter than last year?: thinner
iii. Richer or Poorer?: richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
new things, i had to think for a while to answer the first question... probably too long

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
laundry, but thats unaviodable

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
i spent it with my husband, inlaws and family
22. Did you fall in love in 2005?
i stayed in love

23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
hmm... i'd have to say 24 or the Office.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
the hitchhiker trilogy

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
that i'm an awesome piano teacher :) and Black Eyed Peas (dont laugh), Beck's new album, Fiona Apple's new album
28. What did you want and get?
a new (not broken) piano
29. What did you want and not get?
a new dining room table
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, even though Entertainment Weekly said it was the worst film of the year. I believe they also gave my favorite movie, A Life Less Ordinary an F when it came out, so in my opinion, they just dont know good movies.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i turned 24, went to atlantic city and ate as much tiramisu as I could handle.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
All in all it was a pretty satisfying year, but i guess i wish that i could have started my future plans a little sooner, I'm not very patient about them.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
simple, normally jeans and some kind of t-shirt or sweater
34. What kept you sane?
having the dog home with me during the day so i talk to her instead of myself all the time, and listening to jars of clay

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
what does this mean by "fancy"? does this mean someone I had a crush on? because my answer is probably Scarlet Johansson... but i certainly dont have a crush on her. I've jsut liked her as an actress ever since I saw her in Ghost World (which has nothing to do with 2005, but it's how I choose to answer the question anyway), which is probably because i feel like I was her character (when I was in high school) and I just relate to that whenever i see her for some reason.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
i guess the war in iraq

37. Who did you miss?
all my friends who are no longer in this area

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005?
Things take time so I need to be patient.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
(hahaha... i doubt anyone who reads my blog with even get that...oh well, I'm still laughing


Non-Pop Music

I absolutely love classical music. (I use the word classical here to refer to non-pop music... just like I use the term pop music to refer to non-classical music. Classical music really refers to a specific period of time --which Mozart is part of but Tchaikovsky is not-- but most people dont use the word in that sense). However, I am pretty picky when it comes to what classical music I love.

1. Beethoven- I am definitely in the majority here. I have yet to meet someone who is like "eh, I dont care for Beethoven," and if anyone does say that, they dont know what they are talking about (and most likely they listen to country music... haha). The unfortunate thing about Beethoven is that since his music is so great it tends to be overplayed. I mean, everyone knows the 5th symphony (da da da DAAAH), but my favorite part of the 5th symphony is actually the 2nd movement, which very very few people know. I had never even heard it until a few years ago, but I instantly fell in love with it. If you are a typical Beethoven fan and you havent heard it, DEFINITELY check it out as soon as possible. As far as his piano music goes, it's wonderful. Lots of emotion, melody, rich harmony.... etc etc. But personally I dont really enjoying playing Beethoven too much. My theory is that his music has so much emotion built into the notes, that it doesnt leave much room for me to put some of my own emotion into it. That and the fact that Beethoven is overplayed, and I like to explore other music. Such as...

2. Debussy- Debussy is my all time favorite piano composer. Now I know that most people would except a pianist to say that about someone like Chopin. But in all honesty I am sick to death beyond words of Chopin. His music is great... but spend a few years playing piano in college and I bet you wont ever be able to listen to it either. It's unfortunate, but true. Hopefully one day I'll be able to listen to it again without tired ears. But anyway, Debussy's music is awesome. This is what I played throughout college instead of Chopin, and I'm so glad I did. Debussy created very simple sounding songs (which, by the way, are very not-simple to play), but the harmonies are what draw me to it... that and the fact that I can hold down the pedal through an entire page without changing it (12 different chords on 1 pedal... not a problem-- the problem is that I've started playing Bach the same way... but please dont tell anyone that). Anyway, my favorite Debussy piece is the Sunken Cathedral (which I wrote a whole post on a while ago), another favorite is Reverie (which I am currently learning).

Some other favorites:
  • Shostakovich-- Trio op. 67: I listened to it for like 3 months straight, and there is a very basic beginner piano Waltz in A minor that I teach a lot, that is just hauntingly beautiful
  • Stravinsky-- What would life be like without Rite of Spring and Firebird?
  • Faure-- his Requiem is awesome. I sang this in a concert in college, and my friend and I both got a recording afterwards (not of our choir). We used to blast it in the car with the windows down, the bass cranked up, and belt it out. We're awesome. I also LOVE the Pavanne. I wanted to walk down the aisle to this, but I think it's a little too melancholy for what most people expect of a wedding, oh well.
  • Samuel Barber-- Adagio for Strings. Listen to it.
  • Satie-- Any piano piece, especially the Gymnopedies (listen to all 3 everytime). I love Satie, he's starting to replace my Debussy obsession.
  • Mozart-- I gotta be honest, i',m not big on Mozart. What i do like is playing slow movements of his piano sonatas. They have really taught me how you are supposed to shape a melody. But I also really like his 40th Symphony (i think that's the right number.. i"m awful with numbers).
  • Puccini-- La Boheme. I havent ever seen Rent, but it's pretty much based on La Boheme. and judging from that "525,600 Minutes" song, I'd have to say La Boheme has much better music. Any Puccini opera is absolutely beautiful though (not that I've heard them all, but I feel confident saying it anyway).

So that should give some good insight into my style. I'm not really into fast and showy music. In fact I really prefer the opposite. I love it when a song moves slow enough taht you can really absorb every single note that is played. And I definitely prefer music that has substance over flash (if you want a good combination of both, listen to Listz). I also like anything with a lot of dissonance (consonance is BORING). If you feel the same, I'd suggest some of the songs I've mentioned above, they are just a very few of some of my favorites. And if you know of anything I didnt mention, feel free to suggest it to me!

note: notice i didnt include any Baroque music. That is largely due to the fact that I dont really like it. In fact the only time I can really listen to Baroque music is Christmas time (dont ask). But one of my favorites is: Wachet Auf by Bach (it jsut happens to be a Christmas-y song too).


My Brain Pattern

Your Brain's Pattern

You're a simple thinker, and this is actually a very good thing.

You don't complicate matters when you don't have to.

You look for the simplest explanation or solution, and you go with that.

As a result, your mind is uncluttered and free of stress.
Your Irish Name Is...

Zaira Dunne

Quotes on Art

I really enjoy what artists have to say about their art, or just what they have to say in general. Here are some interesting insights. (I always meant to post this, but I think i forgot about it... if I have posted it before, sorry).


Why should I try to imitate nature? I might just as well try to trace the perfect circle.

Besides if you're trying to find something, it means you haven't got it. And if you find it simply by looking for it, that means it's false.

~Pablo Picasso~


If objective vision were possible, it would give us a true image of reality.
~Piet Mondrian~


The feat of superbly imitating a muscle, as Michelangelo did, or a face, as Raphael did, created neither progress nor heirarchy in art. Because these artists of the 16th century imitated human forms, they were not superior to the artists of the high periods of Egyptian, Chaldean, Indochinese, Roman, and Gothic art who interpreted and stylized form but did not imitate it.

On the contrary, art consists of inventing and not copying.

Art must be free in its inventiveness, it must raise us above too much reality.

~Fernand Leger~


I was aware at that time that, for the spectator more than for the artist, art is a habit forming drug
~Marcel Duchamp~


Very blue this afternoon. I suppose it comes from abstaining from the customary afternoon cup of coffee. You must make yourself a strong man. You are on the threshold as an artist. Be firm and determined.
Accustom yourself to master things which you seem to despair of.
The love you liberate in your work is the only love you keep.
~Maurice Brazil Prendergast~


Any work that I like does the same to me-- it makes me see other things. It makes me aware of reality, although it may not be very realistic in itself. I can only put it that way-- that it unlocks the valves of sensation.
~Francis Bacon~


The scholar specialized in any field will find that the more he knows, the more he will have to learn, and never should he hope to reach full knowledge. Besides, full knowledge would be death itself. Art and science mean trying to understand. Failure or success plays a secondary role.

Words pervert thoughts, writing distorts words
~Alberto Giacometti~



So in music, there are these things called "overtones." I learned a lot about them in my undergrad years... how they helped shape and develop music because of the consonances and dissonances they create, how certain instruments (brass for example), use the overtone series to create their pitches, and how subtle they are. Many, many, many times a teacher would play a low C on the piano to demonstrate the overtones. "Can't you hear them?" they would say. And some of the class would strain their ears and reluctantly answer "oh yeah" and then the teacher would say something like "no you cant, you have no idea what I'm talking about." A few times I was one of those straining students, most of the rest of the time I would zone out. Towards the end of college I actually thought I finally could hear the overtones, but really I think my mind was making them up just so i wouldnt feel so inadequate. I mean, I know a lot about overtones, the fundamental note and the partials, and I know the progression of intervals between partials, etc etc etc... but I could never actually hear overtones... until recently.

I dont know whats caused it. Perhaps it's due to sitting at the high end of the piano for over a year listening to kids bang out simple melodies for several hours a day, or perhaps it's due to my sound duties at church which require me to listen more carefully to music; but whatever it is, I have learned to hear the overtones, and quite honestly, I dont know how I could have missed them before. Unfortunately, I havent been able to turn it off. So now while I'm teaching, all I hear are these high pitched overtones with every stroke of the key, and after a while, it gives me a headache. I mean, I'm excited to finallly understand what everyone was talking about but how do I make them go away? I better figure something out, because by the end of the day, my ears, and my mind, cant take anymore.

On another note... I'm very excited about the upcoming Christmas season!


I love vocab

Damn the GREs and their big fancy words.


I was going to write more, but I think that says it all.

Watch This

This is awesome (better still if you see the movie).

So long and thanks for all the fish!


Oh no

This must have been a slow weather-news day.


I hope FEMA is prepared to handle this one, there's no telling how many sensitive-outdoor-plants-left-uncovered casualties we'll have.


Funny Stuff

Check this out: SmitHappens- Press Your Luck Video!

And then when you are done with that, check this out: Mitch Hedberg Videos


Test time

So first thing tomorrow morning I am taking the GRE.

I began studying for this mid-June (off and on). At first I was incredibly intimidated by the math section (for starters I forgot that negetive numbers even exsisted), but after doing some review most of it came back to me. My biggest problem now is probably that I'm still a little on the slow side when it comes to solving problems, but other than that I think I've got the math section as good as I need it. The verbal section worries me for only 1 reason... VOCAB. If it was all reading comprehension, I'd be fine. I understand what I read. No problems there. But i do not use GRe level vocabulary and honestly I really didnt feel like learning it for this test. I did anyway, at least I made an effort to familiarize myself with some of the words. I got a study book from the library that had 2 lists of vocab words: 1- the 50 words most frequently used, and 2- the 3,000 words most frequently used. Anyone else see a problem with that?? 3,000 words!!! How in the hell am I supposed to learn all those? So just seeing that discouraged me, and I stuck with the 50 word list. Hopefully I made the right decision.

It's not that I'm stupid and cant understand big words... it's just that I prefer a language that is more accessible. I dont see any reason for using 13 letter words just to make myself sound more educated, I'm typically more concerned with getting my point across. This is something I feel strongly about, and that is why I know the GRE vocabulary is going to ruin my overall score. And the worst thing about is that next year they are reformatting the GRE so that there is heavier emphasis on reading and less on vocab. Just my luck.

As for the writing part... I'm not worried. I dont think those scores are really going to affect final decisions too much. I'm just hoping that I dont get a prompt I know nothing about. But that will probably happen. Oh well. I guess I just have to wait until tomorrow and see how it goes.

ps- overall i have enjoyed studying for the GREs (but that's just because I'm a nerd who likes school)


My true feelings on accompanying

So accompanying went pretty well on Sunday. I played TONS of wrong notes, but still managed to get through it (mostly thanks to all the other instrumentalists who covered up all my wrongness). It wasnt as painful as I thought it'd be. It does get a little easier every time I do it, but that doesnt mean I'm in any kind of hurry to do it again. I would rather play 10 solo recitals than 1 accompaniment kind of thing. There's just way way way too much pressure. I mean, when I'm by myself and I make a mistake, I can recover how ever I want. I can try to disguise it and move on, I can retrace a little bit, or whatever. The worse thing that happens is I make myself look bad. And I'm okay with that. Accompanying however, is very different. I have to make sure I dont cause other people to look bad when I make mistakes, and that is far far far more difficult and stressful. And i had a horrible experience the first time I accompanied someone... I still dont think I'm completely over it, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.

When I was in college I had to take 2 accompanying classes (or as I like to call them "hell on earth classes"). In the first one we accompanied vocalists and I was paired up to do 1 song each with 3 different people. All of them were really nice and really understanding of the fact that I had no clue what I was doing. Well the first girl I worked with was really great. But I had to learn this Mozart aria from Don Giovanni (I think); anyway it was crazy fast with lots of crazy notes. And I'm not one to play crazy fast, in fact I pretty much avoid it as much as possible (personal taste). But I had no choice in this. So I worked my ass off learning this piece (in fact i think this was the catalyst to my shoulder problem).

The first rehearsal was awful on my part, I couldnt play through even one page, let alone 6. But my singer was very gracious and understanding (and patient!). After that I figured out everything I needed to work on (which was everything) and got most of it together in time for our second rehearsal which went much smoother. The one good thing about accompanying is that you dont have to play every single note if you can figure out a way to get by. So I cut a lot of excess notes which made a huge difference.

And then came the day when we had to perform in class. It was great! I was so thrilled with myself. Even when we had to go through the critiques I was really amazed at how well I did. The professional accompanist said I used the pedal perfectly for the time period (she ALWAYS told everyone they were pedalling wrong) and the only problem was that I seemed too concerned with the notes to be enjoying myself (duh!). So I felt really confident after that.

At the end of the semester all the singers picked one song for the final performance and of course I got stuck with the Mozart aria (as opposed to my other songs which were much more manageable). So again I practiced so hard that I was dreaming about the song, I think by that point I nearly had it memorized... and then came the day of the big performance. Backstage I was a wreck but I went through my usual pre-performance routine to keep myself looking calm (good night's sleep, good breakfast, no sugar or caffiene, one motrin an hour ahead of time, and pace around until you go on). When it was our turn I walked out with my singer and my page turner (a first for me... for solo stuff you have to memorize everything, but for accompanying, you get to use the music). I sat down at the bench after bowing and went through my pre-playing routine (breathe very deeply while thinking through the song until I feel ready... and keep an eye on the singer to make sure she's ready), and then we began.

Well by this point I had played the song so many times that I didnt even need to look at the first page of the music, but the second page was a little trickier, so when I got to that point I looked up... and... the music was open to the WRONG PAGE. I totally freaked (and I think that I very very softly cursed--fortunately for me, I dont think anyone heard)... the only thing I could do was stop and turn the music to the correct page, which I did. And the singer did the right thing, she kept on singing and hoping for me to find her again, which after about 8 LONG LONG LONG measures I did. Of course by this time I was so freaked out that I couldnt stop my fingers from shaking which meant that I was playing all kinds of wrong notes. And no matter how much I tried to regain my composure, I just couldnt do it fast enough, which caused me to freak out even more. Somehow I stumbled around long enough for the song to end, and made my way back stage where I apologized profusely to the singer... who was again more gracious that I deserved.

Afterward the show was over I knew I had to face the teachers and I knew that was going to probably be even more painful that my few minutes on stage had been. But to my surprise I couldnt have been more wrong. The vocal teacher said something that has stayed with me and hopefully always will... it was something along the lines of this... "Hold your head high, stuff happens, you did the best you could, there's nothing to feel bad about." She was much easier on me than I was on myself....

Yay for Forms

Don't ask why, but I absolutely love filling out forms, so these are a treat for me!

1. Sleep with or without clothes on? with
2. Prefer black or blue pens? black
3. Dress up on Halloween? no i dont really like halloween
4. Like to travel? of course
5. do you like some one? yep
6. Does he/she know? i sure hope so
7. Who sleeps with you every night? matt
8. Think you're attractive? i guess i'm ok
9. Want to get married? i am
10. Who? matt
11. Are you a good student? I was, i love school
12. Are you currently happy? yes because I am filling out a form!
13. Have you ever cheated at a game? solitaire, all the time
14. Birthplace? crailsheim germany
15. Christmas or Halloween? christmas
16. Colored or black-and-white photo? black and white
17. Do long distance relationships work? they can
18. Do you believe in Astrology? no
19. Could you date a good friend? yes
20. Do you believe in love at first sight? not really
21. Do you consider yourself the life of the party? not even close
22. Do you drink? occasionally
23. Do you kiss well?yes
24. What is your dream car? whatever the most reliable car is that has a hook up for my iPod
25. Do you make fun of people? i try not to
26. Do you think dreams eventually come true? if you put some work into them
27. Fave thing to do? spend time with my husband
28. Fave breakfast food? belgian waffles, sausage, hash browns, yum
29. Fave Candy? jelly bellys
30. Fave Vacation spot? colorado- for xc skiing, and most anywhere in europe
31. Favorite body part of the opposite? eyes
32. Favorite cartoon? south park
33. Go to the movies or rent? rent
34. Have you ever moved? so many times I ran out of fingers to count (like 11, not including college moves)
35. Have you ever stolen anything (from a store)? no
36. How's the weather right now? it's too dark to tell
37. Hug or kiss? kiss
38. Last person you talked to on the phone? harmony
39. Last time you showered? this afternoon
40. Loud or Soft Music: loud
41. McDonalds or Burger King? burger king
42. Night or day? day
43. Number of Pillows? start with 2, end up with none
44. Piano or guitar? piano!
45. Rap or R&B? rap
46. Nike or Adidas? puma

Have u ever............................
() played Spin the Bottle?
() Toilet Paper someone's house
(x ) Played Poker with money
() Gone swimming in a white T-shirt
(x) Been tickled so hard you couldn't talk
(x) Liked someone but never told them
(x) Went camping...
() Worn somthing your mom didn't appove of
(x) Burnt yourself with a curling iron/straightener.. ((like this afternoon...))
( ) Wanted to be a police officer
() Dumped someone
() Been hit on by someone too old
( ) Wanted to be a model
(x) bought lottery tickets
(x) Made out in a car
(x) cried during a movie
(x) Wanted something you couldn't have
( ) Had sex on the beach
(x) Seen someone shoplift
(x) Hung up on someone
(x) Yelled at your pet
() Tried to strip when drunk
(x) Gotten seasick
() Had a stalker
() Played a prank on somone that had them really scared
(x) Been embarassed by one of your family members
() Felt bad about eating meat
(x) Been to an island
(x ) Been in love
(x) Ate just because you were bored
(x) looked at something everybody thought was ugly and said "aww"
( ) Saw your ex and wanted to kick his/her ass
(x) Cursed in front of your parents
( x) Been in a commerical on tv... as a passerby on an army commercial when we lived in germany, totally accidental (i forgot all about that)
(x) Been out of the country.
() Been honked at by some guy/girl when you were walking down the sidewalk
( x) won at pool... rarely
() Been lost out to sea
( ) Cheated on your bf/gf
( ) been cheated on
( ) Tanned topless

Can you...
(x) unwrap a starburst with your tongue
() Open your eyes underwater
(x) Ice skate
(x) sing in front of a crowd
() Whistle
(x) Be a meanie at times
( ) Do thirty pull ups
() Walk in really high heels
(x) Eat super spicy foods
( ) Skateboard
(x) Sleep with the lights on
(x) Multi task
( ) Touch your nose with your tounge


Catch Up

Man I havent posted in a while. I didnt realize how long it had been. Probably because there are usually like 1 or 2 times a day when something happens and I think "hey, that'd make a good blog entry," so I write one up in my mind with the intention of transfering it to the computer later, but I never make it that far. So it actually feels like I've been maintaining my blog, but I guess it's about time for me to put in an actual post.

So a lot has been going on here. I keep myself pretty busy these days. I had my 1 year anniversary of teaching piano at home a week ago (I took the day off... it also happened to be my birthday and my husband took me to atlantic city). My little business has come a long way in a year. It took me about 2 months just to get 1 student. Now I get about 10 calls a week for potential students, not too bad. Unfortunately thats all going to end soon... but for a good reason. Anyway.

This weekend I am sub-accompanying at church. Sub-accompanying is worse than regular accompanying because you usually have to do it on short notice. But this wasnt so bad because I got to pick the music (and i did get adequate notice), so I picked stuff I've played before so I wouldnt have to practice as hard; which is nearly impossible for me right now since my shoulder is all messed up-- who knew that by playing the piano I could injur myself the same way baseball pitchers, weight lifters, and swimmers do? I'm such an athlete. So tomorrow night is rehearsal, i just hope I can get through it without pain. I'm not worried about sunday because I'll at least be able to take breaks between songs, so it shouldnt be a problem. And I bought a nice new heating pad today which makes me feel gooooooooood.

The weather is getting cooler, which is good for my dog. Now she just sits outside in the backyard all day long. I'm sure she loves it. But the birds and squirrels must hate it. My next door neighbor has a bird feeder in his backyard and during the summer it was always filled with birds and squirrels, and whenever I'd let Eve out she try to chase them all away (actually she was probably trying to eat them). But now that she's always in the backyard the other animals wont go anywhere near the feeder. I guess they'll have to hunt and gather the old fashioned way again.

One more random thing...

About 2 and a half weeks ago my husband was playing softball and took a line drive to his shin. It got him pretty bad, but neither of us realized how badly when it first happen. He's a little injury prone (luckily never anything too serious), so we are used to things like this happening (not to say that makes them hurt less). But when he first came home and told me what happened, I didnt feel very sorry for him. I thought he should have learned his lesson by now about playing too hard and hurting himself all the time. But then a couple days later his leg started to bruise. Actually it was his foot that bruised first, but soon his lower leg was all black and blue. It has to be the biggest bruise I've ever seen. I want to take a picture of it and post it... we'll see.


Moment of Nothing

I dont have much to say. At the moment I'm in between piano students. My next one could be here any minute. Just thought I'd pop into my blog for a sec and see if anything was new. It's not.

Piano Man


Random Thoughts on a Sunday

I tend to get car sick, but only if I do certain activities. Which can make road trips very boring for me because the following activities make me nauseous... reading, chewing gum, eating most food. One thing that makes me feel better is eating nice cold fresh fruit. Which is hard to come by at greasy rest stops. But I still like traveling.

If I could, I'd wear flowers in my hair everyday.

I'm not a very picky eater. I'm willing to try just about anything. Actually the only food I absolutely refuse to eat (without having tried) is tofu. I think I'm more open-minded about food than most people. But I am kind of snobbish because I'm very picky about the quality of my food.


Biting Bugs

I went to one of my husband's softball games on Monday night. I think I set a record for most bug bites recieved in 1 day. Actually I was only outside for like 2 hours. But I got 37 bugbites. Most of them (25) are on my right foot. The rest of them are on my left foot and left hand. Luckily I dont think they are from mosqitos, so the bites are pretty small. But that doesnt make them less itchy... they are driving me crazy.

I know what happens at the end of Book 6

I finished the Harry Potter books at 10:30 Wednesday morning. I read all of them (except Book 2, which I havent been able to get a hold of yet) in 1 week and 5 days. Well within my goal. Yay me!

My overall assessment of the books: They are fun to read. Books 1 through 3 have a somewhat similiar plot line... Harry is at home in normalness, then goes to school where he gets himself involved in some mystery. He is suspicious about certian people who he thinks are involved, but then you find out at the last minute it's really the "last" person you would have expected (under the influence of Voldermort of course). Harry defeats them and then returns home at the end of the year. Books 4-6 change some aspects of this plot line, in that now you see the bigger picture of what is really going on with Harry. So I think those were a little more interesting. But still, these books wont change your life, but they are entertaining.

The one problem with reading that much Harry Potter in less than 2 weeks is that it was starting to mess with my mind. Funny how easy it is to lose track of fiction and reality. But now everything's back to normal . So now, just like everyone else I have to sit around (which will give me time to catch up on housework) and wait for the next book to come out. Hopefully that wont be too long from now.


Harry Potter

I recently decided I would read all the Harry Potter books. I dont know what made me decide this. I've already seen the first three movies, and honestly, I didnt care for them much. The first one, I thought, was all effects and visual distractions but lacked any real substance or logic. The second one seemed to be built on the same concepts. The third one got a little more interesting... but then that could just be because of my husband's influence. Apparently he didnt dislike it as much as the first because he said the story made more sense, But I think Gary Oldman's appearance had a big influence on his change of heart. But I think what really got me interested was the fact that I heard something bad or at least suprising happens at the end of the sixth book. And I actually want to read it and find out about it that way before I find out any other way (please dont tell me what it is... I'm this close to finding out on my own). Of course I couldnt just start with the 6th book, I'm sure nothing would make sense if I did that. So I decided to start from the beginning.

My first task was to acquire the books. Originally I had hoped to borrow them from the library. But since the sixth book just recently came out, it seemed I wasnt the only one interested in reading the series from the beginning. So my next step was to borrow the books from my sister, who I could have sworn had a set of them. Unfortunately they seemed to have misplaced them. But my sister's friend was nice enough to lend them to me. Well all but the second one, that one is missing.

So I started reading the books 2 Fridays ago. I gave myself the crazy goal of finishing them all within 2 weeks. Of course I did skip the 2nd one (for the moment, I fully intend to go back and read it when I can get a copy of it). So far I'm 70 pages away from finishing the 5th book. I've been reading like crazy lately. Somedays I read for about 6-8 hours (with breaks to eat and give my eyes a chance to relax a little). It really does take up a lot of my time, but to my pleasant surprise, I do enjoy reading them. They aren't changing my life or anything, but they are fun. And that's really what I was in the mood for. My biggest complaint is the length of them. I mean 870 pages in the 5th book??? That's quite unnecessary.

Anyway, only 4 more days to finish. I think I'll get through the 6th one by then. But I dont think I'll manage to read the 2nd one before that as well. I'm not all that concerned though, I've seen the 2nd movie at least 3 times, so I feel as though I have a good enough idea about what happened in that book that I wont miss out on anything too important.

Speaking of which, better get back to reading... time's a-wasting.



Starbucks Coffee
That sounds about right.


A Day in Boston

This weekend my husband and I took a trip up to New England. We went to Connecticut with his parents for a family wedding on Saturday. And then since we were in the area, we decided to go to a Boston Red Sox game on Sunday. (anyone who knows my husband knows how much he loves Boston sports teams... and how much that has rubbed off on me)

So first thing on Sunday we drove from CT to Boston. Since he used to live right outside of Boston we went there first. He showed me his "old stomping grounds" in Wakefield Mass, and then we drove around and made our way to Kelly's on Revere Beach.

Kelly's Roast Beef on the beach Posted by Picasa

Now I'm not from Boston (nor had I been there until last year), but even I've heard of Kelly's. Actually I'm pretty sure that I saw Rachel Ray eat at Kelly's on her $40 a Day show a couple years ago. But for anyone who doesnt know, it's a little food stand/restaurant right on the beach that makes some great fresh seafood. We both got fish plates that would somewhere around $10 each and they were packed with food... onion rings two large pieces of fried fish and french fries. Not exactly the best meal if you are watching your weight, but if you are looking for good fish and chips it's perfect. Kelly's was definitely worth the trip and i highly recommend it to anyone willing to brave the Massachusettes roads (more on that later).

Yum Kelly's Posted by Picasa

After that, we decided to just drive into Boston and park in a garage near Fenway Park because it was getting too close to game time to take the T in. Well we eventually made it to Fenway, half an inning late. As soon as we entered the park it started pouring and lightning... thus began Rain Delay 1. So here were are, jammed into the vending section of Fenway along with tens of thousands of other people who didnt want to get wet, just waiting for the game to start again... waiting... waiting... waiting. About 45 mins later the rain lets up and the grounds keepers come out to prepare the field. 15 minutes later, the game resumes

Matt Clement warming up Posted by Picasa

I was kind of let down. I mean most of the normal Red Sox players weren't in. There were 4 guys playing that I had never even heard of. And my personal favorite... Kevin Millar (aka the Leprachuan) wasnt even in. Luckily David Ortiz was... you cant have a Red Sox game without Big Papi. Unfortunately, they White Sox were winning. But in the middle of the 4th inning the sky turned black and the rain poured down again. Rain Delay 2. What we didnt know at the time was that the game would not resume after this delay. So again the fans herded themselves back inside Fenway and waited for the rain to let up.

Fenway Park must have made millions at this game. I mean there were thousands of people with absolutely nothing to do for hours just walking around all the food stands and souvenir shops. And we did fall victim to this. I bought myself a new Red Sox cap... white with a green B on the front and green shamrock on the back (luck of the Irish... since I'm part Irish I thought it was appropriate), and both of us got some food and soft serve ice cream.

While in line at the soft serve ice cream booth, we saw a White Sox player in a roped off section nearby. He was just hanging out talking with some fans and... eating soft serve ice cream. I found this pretty entertaining and my husband convinced me to take a picture (even though I felt incredibly awkward about taking a picture of some random guy I dont know just because he's eating ice cream.) So I did my best to find a hidden spot to take the picture from. Unforunately since it was so dark I had to use the flash, which I think blew any effort of being discreet. Oh well, at least I know that I have no future career in the paparazi.

White Sox player enjoying softer serve ice cream during the rain delay Posted by Picasa

It rained and rained and rained. We decided to use the time we had and explore Fenway. So we walked around to right field and hung out there for a little while. The rain let up and it looked like they were going to start the game again, but I guess they decided more rain was on the way so they put the tarp back down. Anyway, while the rain delay was occuring they were playing old baseball footage on the monitor. Eventually they got to scenes from the 2004 post season. And everyone there was glued to the monitor. They showed Ortiz hitting home runs and everyone cheered like crazy... they showed Schilling pitching with the now famous Bloody Ankle and everyone cheered like crazy... they showed A-Rod swatting the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove and everyone booed as if it were actually happening at that moment. I've seen footage of those games countless times, but I have to admit, it was fun watching it again at Fenway with thousands of fans who, obviously, were still emotionally charged.

White Sox player, Lee, signing autographs during a Rain Delay Posted by Picasa

Pesky Pole Posted by Picasa

So a couple hours and several photos later, still no game. Now we are sitting close to third base under the overhang (to avoid the rain). Wally the Green Monster comes out to sign some autographs and maybe calm the restless fans. Other than that not much is going on. We've wandered around Fenway for long enough, now we just want to watch some baseball. Unfortunately 4 hours into Rain Delay no. 2, the announcer comes on to say that the rains aren't going to let up, and so the game is cancelled. This is immediately followed by boos that seemed to echo the A-Rod sentiment I heard a few hours ago and once again Fenway Park empties, but this time we leave for good.

I think the grounds keepers got more exercise than the players. Here they are removing the tarp (only to put it back 5 minutes later). Posted by Picasa

Wally the Green Monster Posted by Picasa

Even though we only got to watch 4 innings, and we had to put up with 5 hours of rain delay, I still had a good time. It could have been better if they had finished the game (and Boston won). But oh well, I guess this just means that we'll have to go back for the make-up game.


Dessert Time

I'm in the middle of inventing my own dessert. I got in a cooking kick this evening so I went to Giant and bought some random ingredients. Then I came home, put on some music (an awesome mix tape someone made me years ago called "Jessica Sucks Punk Rocks") and literally started throwing the ingredients together... in my food processor. Eventually I ended up with a gooey mix and had no clue what to do with it. Fortunately the gooey mix tasted good; I should know, I think I've already eaten half of it. But I had to keep tasting it so I could think of something to do with it. I mean while I'm happy eating it off a spoon, I'm not sure it would go over well with other people. So after I had a sufficient sense of the taste and consistency of the gooey mix I came up with a plan on how to use it. Unfortunately I don't have the proper ingredients for the next step though, so at this moment the random gooey mix is "chilling overnight" (I figure that sounds more professional than... "being put aside because I dont know what I'm doing"). First thing in the morning though I'll be heading back to Giant for Step Two of Jessica Sucks Dessert Rocks (which is what I've decided to call it). If it turns out to be as awesome as my tastebuds are predicting, I'll post the recipe, if not, I'll post something about how much it made me throw up.

As a side not, I'm not sure if what I'm doing is really all that creative... I'll probably find an old recipe of the exact same thing in a couple weeks and it will burst my bubble; but in the meantime I'm feeling very Iron Chef like. Yay me.


Cooking Craziness

So I was on a real cooking kick this week.

I made steak (for the first time) with a marinade I came up with completely on my own, and it was awesome. Well the steak was a little dry, I think I might have over cooked it a bit, but the marinade was so good I didnt even care.

I also started making real oatmeal. Not the instant oatmeal you just add hot water to, but the real stuff. I got some steel cut oats (which shockingly enough, Giant does carry) and everything. It's SO much better than that instant stuff.

Let's see... I made chicken parmisan one night. I dont want to brag too much, but I make really good chicken parmisan. So good in fact, that I dont feel the need to ever order it at a resturaunt because I can just make it at home whenever I want. Though I should say that I use my mom's recipe, so she should probably get all the credit.

That's a lot of cooking for me. But it's fun, I really enjoy it. I wish I could do it more often, and I probably would. But I get dish-washing burn out after a couple days. So that's why it comes in spurts.


Good Eats

I made some awesome Granola today. I got the recipe from a show on Food Network. Seriously, I dont think people need to buy cookbooks anymore... FoodNetwork.com has all kinds of recipes, it's great. Now you can even set up a person recipe box on their website (which means I dont have to print out the recipes and throw them into my "random recipes" drawer.)

I love Food Network, I wish other people watched it as often as I do. Then when I see one of my friends I could be like "hey did you see Rachel Ray last night? Wasn't that an amazing feast she prepared in only 30 minutes? I didnt think she'd be able to pull it off." and they'd be like "Of course I watched it, I never miss Rachel Ray, you know that." Alas, I am alone in my excitement.

But if anyone is interested, here are the good shows to watch:

  1. Iron Chef (NOT Iron Chef America... especially if Bobby Flay is cooking-- I dont like him after the stunt he pulled on the real Iron Chef several years ago). And when you watch Iron Chef, you always root for the iron chef (especially if it's Morimoto, because he has the awesome silver uniform).
  2. Good Eats with Alton Brown
  3. The Naked Chef. A british chef... he likes to whack everything.
  4. Any show with Rachel Ray... she can be a little on the obnoxiously perky side, but for some reason I have to watch her show whenever it's on (and she has like 4 shows, so they are on a lot).


Whoa Black Betty

My husband corrected my post from yesterday... I got a couple facts wrong concerning the song Black Betty (but I still like it)

1. Mark Belhorn doesnt use it, Mike Timlin does.
2. Spiderbait isnt the original band, somone else is. Though I still like the Spiderbait version.

What can I say? I'm not perfect. Bam ba-lam


Cleaning the House Playlist

I cleaned most of the house today. I didn't really plan on doing it, but I made a really good PlayList on my iPod and it kept me in a "cleaning mood" for a long time (I think I listened to it at least 3 times today, so far). Typically I like to listen to Elvis Costello when I clean (I cant explain why), but I think it was time for a change. Here's my new Cleaning the House Playlist:

1. Black Betty Spiderbait
The real version, not the crappy remake for the Dukes of Hazard. I include this because Mark Belhorn is currently on the Red Sox injured list, but I still want to hear the song (I'd actually prefer to hear it on my iPod over hearing it announce that Mark Belhorn is about to bat... with the exception of the time he hit a home run in the game we went to).
2. Undo Me Jennifer Knapp
Just fun to sing along to (I think the whole song is actually in my range)
3. Yeah! Usher
Never did I think I'd enjoy a song that repeats one word so much.
4. It's All Over Now Baby Blue Them featuring Van Morrison
While I do like the original Bob Dylan version, I think I like this one even more.
5. The Boxer Simon and Garfunkel
Just because I like Simon and Garfunkel, and this is the only song I have of theirs on my iPod.
6. Hey Ya! Outcast
I think the main reason I like this song is that he DJ played this at my wedding and everyone had such a good time dancing to it. Now whenever I hear the song I think of that moment. My wedding was awesome!
7. Punk Rawk Show MXPX
Cause I aint got no place to go.
8. The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson
Because they dance to it in Center Stage.
9. Canned Heat Jamiroquai
For two reasons (both having to do with a movie): 1- Napoleon Dynamite, I think this scene makes the movie great. 2- Center Stage, also the song for the big dance number, although it's part of a ballet... a lot less guy-friendly than Napoleon's dance.
10. Virtual Insanity Jamiroquai
I figured after Canned Heat... why not?
11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole
One of the best songs I've heard in a long time. Probably not the greatest motivation for cleaning ever, but it's a great song to listen to whenever.
12. Malibu Hole
I'm not a big fan of songs featuring female singers, but I actually think this one is pretty good.
13. Killing Me Softly Fugees
I just like it.
14. Take Me Out Franz Ferdinand
I like how this one changes about 1/4 of the way into it.
15. I Throw My Toys Around No Doubt and Elvis Costello
I gotta have Elvis Costello in there somewhere. And this song makes me wish that I used to throw my toys around.


Word of the Moment


Definition- friendly

Antonym- not friendly



More often than not, I read magazines from back to front. I find the articles in the back are usually more intersting and shorter. And if they are good, I might read the really long articles in the front. But if I start in the front, I always skip over the really long articles at the beginning because I dont expect them to be that interesting.


A Few Reviews

Some of my thoughts on things lately:
  1. Batman Begins. I saw this last weekend. On the way to the theater my husband and I chatted briefly about how bad movies were lately. And even though I had heard that the new Batman was good, I was still expecting it to suck by my standards. It just seems as though all the movie-makers seems interested in lately is making the movie look good. Who cares about content; people dont think much now adays anyway. And that's what I expected from this movie. Yet I went anyway. Turns out, I was wrong. I really enjoyed the movie (even though I dont care for any of the other Batman movies). It had a good story line, and the visual effects appeared more realistic than the current trend creates them. I actually found myself thinking about half way through "wow, this is good, I'm actually enjoying it." Not something I think very often, especially with action movies. One negative... all the close-ups during the action scenes, it just makes me nausious, so I tend to zone out during them. All I need to know is who wins in the end, and that's when I start paying attention again. As for Katie Holmes... she seemed so insignificant when compared with the other oustanding actors that I really didnt even notice her much. Thank goodness.
  2. The Office. I had watched the first American episode when it aired several months ago (but then stopped watching due to 24 conflicts I believe.) And while I enjoy dry subtle humor, I didnt really care to much for it. The scene where the boss pretends to fire the receptionist as a gag was painful to watch (I think that's what was supposed to make it funny though). But then I watched the original British series. So much better. There are still painful moments in it (just because at times I have a difficulty seperating fiction from reality... not just with this show, but in general, whenever I'm watching a movie or TV show). But there are some things in the show that are absolutely hysterical. I dont really think many of them are laugh out loud moments for most people, but they were for me. Some of my favorite things... The Tim and Dawn thing- so much better than Friends' Ross and Rachel thing. Keith- funniest guy in the whole show... I love the one where he fills out the paper for his job review. Garreth- not my favorite character, but boy did they do a good job of casting for that one. Tim- he's the only one who reacts to the strangeness of the people in his office. And often times the faces he makes at the camera are the same one's I'm making while I watch.
  3. War of the Worlds. All I have to say about this is: If those aliens were supposedly studying earth for millions of years a) why didnt they just take over before humans evolved, wouldnt that have been much easier? b) how much "studying" did they really do if they managed to find out that they couldnt survive on the planet in the first place... humans or no. I mean I studying things more throughouly when I want to buy a new keyboard for my computer... let alone relocate my whole species. Oh yeah, one other thing I loved was the part where Tom Cruise and his daughter find shelter with the farmer in his basement. I love the fact that the first thing the farmer does is stop right next to a lantern just long enough so the audience can see his face and recognize that it's Tim Robbins. As if we are supposed to say "oh Time Robbins, this should be good." As for the rest of the movie... see the first half of what I wrote for number 1.
  4. Grocery Shopping. Okay I know this has nothing to do with movies or entertainment of any kind, but I just got back from grocery shopping. Which is one of my least favorite things to do. But I'm convinced, especially now that it's summer break and there are more kids being dragged to the store with their mother, that grocery stores must produce some kind of painful ultra-high frequency that only kids can hear. And it must be so painful to have to listen to it that all a kid can do is scream. Not just cry... scream... at the top of their lungs... the entire time they are in the store. Those poor kids, why do parents force them to go through such torture.

So out of everything discussed above I would recommend the following: see Batman Begins and the British version of The Office; dont see War of the Worlds, or Bewitched for that matter (even though I havent seen it I can predict that it's not good), and above all, dont go grocery shopping.


More artsy quotes

I wish I had heard more of this stuff earlier.

Why should I try to imitate nature? I might just as well try to trace the perfect circle.

If objective vision were possible, it would give us a true image of reality.

The feat of superbly imitating a muscle, as Michelangelo did, or a face, as Raphael did, created neither progress nor heirarchy in art. Because these artists of the 16th century imitated human forms, they were not superior to the artists of the high periods of Egyptian, Chaldean, Indochinese, Roman, and Gothic art who interpreted and stylized form but did not imitate it.On the contrary, art consists of inventing and not copying.Art must be free in its inventiveness, it must raise us above too much reality.

I was aware at that time that, for the spectator more than for the artist, art is a habit forming drug

Francis Bacon~
Any work that I like does the same to me-- it makes me see other things. It makes me aware of reality, although it may not be very realistic in itself. I can only put it that way-- that it unlocks the valves of sensation.



I'm becoming obsessed with art books... and loving it.


"Braque has always said that the only thing that counts, in painting, is the intention, and it's true."

-Pablo Picasso

A teacher once told me the same thing about music and it completely changed the way I listen to, perform, and think about music.

And I agree with Picasso... it is true.


Word of the Moment

Jejune: 1. not interesting 2. lacking maturity 3. lacking nutrition

Used in a sentence:
I never knew the word jejune existed before today.

One of these days...

... I'm going to stop letting boots walk all over me.


Pace Wildenstein

Here is one of my favorite websites to look through lately. It's a site for an Art Gallery in New York City. I ordered a few catalogs (actually they are more like books... and they certainly are priced more like books) from them a couple months ago, and they are great! Anyway, they have some great artwork by some modern artists as well as biographies and other information.

In addition, they have some of the later Agnes Martin paintings... one of which is currently set as my wallpaper.

Another one of my favorites is Josef Albers. I pretty much like any artwork that uses squares.

There arent many sites that I just browse through, but I always manage to find something interesting on this one.

Word of the Moment

Quixotic: idealistic without regard to practicality (after Don Quixote)



Today feels like Friday for some reason. But I'm actually glad that it's not.

Walking 2


Last night my husband and I saw Seal in concert at Wolf Trap. Various thoughts and observations from the show:
  • Seal has the best voice ever. I honestly think I could just listen to him sing the Alphabet Song for hours.
  • Wolf Trap was packed. I mean, hardly any sitting room. All the covered seats sold out, so we had lawn seats, and let me tell you, the lawn was PACKED. Every inch of that place was covered with blankets and lawn chairs. I have only been to Wolf Trap for one other concert, and it was an opera (La Boheme... my favorite). I thought that was crowded, but this definitely trumped that.
  • The odd thing about the crowd was the age. I mean, I know they play Seal songs on the adult contemporary radio stations, but I didn't expect the crowd to be quite as old as it was. I at least expected to see a good mix of different age groups. But I'd say that my husband and I were in the youngest 15-percentile there. About 60% of the crowd was probably in their 40s or older. There were some younger kids there... with their parents of course. But (as my husband pointed out), I'm not so sure if that speaks something about Seal's fans, or the venue of Wolf Trap itself. I mean, it does seem to be a little on the yuppy side (I think we were the only people there who didn't bring an extravegant picnic dinner complete with several bottles of wine. I swear if I didnt know there was a concert going on, I'd think I was in a field of Sideway's Picnic re-enactments)
  • My least favorite part of attending large concerts like that is leaving. Getting out of the parking lot always proves to be stressful. And it wouldnt be as bad, if everyone would agree on some sort of exiting system. For the most part, a line to get of the parking lot forms, and people develop a system of merging every other car in. But there's always a handful of a-holes who decide that they are too good to follow an organized, safe system of exiting and drive around the nicely formed line and then try to wedge their way in at the front (and in the process come dangerously close to hitting about 7 cars). Drives me nuts.
  • The best song from last night, in my opinion, was Love's Divine lyrics . He did an accoustic-ish version that was really, really great. Even if that was the only song he played that night, it would have been worth it. You can listen to a version of it on his website... here.

In closing, I love Seal's voice... incredible.

Post Ems(hide)

Love's Divine

Then the rainstorm came, over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost all of my, belief you see
And realized my mistake
But time through a prayer, to me
And all around me became still

I need love, loves divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, loves is what I need to help me know my name

Through the rainstorm came sanctuary
And I felt my spirit fly
I had found all of my reality
I realize what it takes

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, loves is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bet (don't bend), don't bet (don't break)
Show me how to live a promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name

Well I try to say there's nothing wrong
But inside I felt me lying all along
But the message here was plain to see

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, loves is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bet (don't bend), don't bet (don't break)
Show me how to live a promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name

Love can help me know my name


Good Day

My Mood... Alive

Under the Wave Off Kanagawa
By Katsushika Hokusai
Today put me in a good mood.

Jelly Beans and Dog Walks

Ah, I feel like I've been so busy lately, but I'm not exactly sure what I've been doing. One thing I havent been doing... updating my blog. But that's about to change.

So here are some interesting (or not so interesting) things that have happened today:

  • I am eating Jelly Belly jelly beans at the moment. Only the best candy ever made. I have enjoyed Jelly Bellys since I was in about third grade. I can tell the flavor just by looking at the bean, and I'm pretty sure I can name the flavor just by tasting it (blindfolded of course). Some of my least favorite flavors they've had in the past (and happily discontinued): Jalapenos and Peanut Butter. I mean, at least Peanut Butter is somewhat normal as far as flavor goes (though it made the nastiest jelly bean), but Jalapeno? I mean seriously, what the heck were they thinking. My favorite flavors (in no particular order) are: Pina Colada, Lemon-Lime, and Watermelon. The Watermelon-bean even looks like a watermelon, it's green on the outside, and pink on the inside. Clever.

  • My dog is a hunting dog at heart. In the fall it's nearly impossible to walk her near any wooded area because she has to chase any squirrel she sees. But even during other times of the year, she's always on the prowl. So far her capture list reads as follows: 3 mice, 1 chipmunk, and as of today... 1 bird. Seriously, how does a dog catch a bird (I thought the chipmunk was pretty impressive)? And how did she do it while I had her on the leash? I usually keep a close watch on her actions, but today as we were walking, she suddenly pounced onto something before I had a chance to react. And before I could stop her, she had a small bird in her mouth (and even though the bird filled most of her mouth, I think I could see her smiling over her triumph). I made her drop the bird (which she did with very little resistance) and tried to continue on our walk, but it was no use, she was only thinking about one thing... returning to the spot where she captured the bird. The poor bird.

  • I think this entry wins as the one with the most paranthesis (I just love commenting on my own stories)

I suppose that's all I have to say for now.


1 year anniversary and Morimoto

So Sunday was my 1 year anniversary! I cant believe I've been married for a year already. It went by so fast.

To celebrate my husband and I went to Philadelphia for the day. There's a restaurant there called Morimoto that we went to on our honeymoon, and we decided that we'd go back this year.

If you know my family at all, you probably know that we watch Food Network about as much as a normal family watches cartoons. On Food Network there is an awesome show called Iron Chef (not Iron Chef America-- that show is NOT awesome). It's this Japanese cooking show in which a handful of "iron chefs" compete against a challenger chef. They have 1 hour to make several dishes containing a surprise theme ingredient (usually something weird that I've never heard of) and then at the end they are judged by a panel of tasters to see who made the best dishes.

Our favorite iron chef is Iron Chef Japanese, Morimoto. A couple years ago I found out that he opened a restaurant in Phillie and ever since that moment I was dying to go there and try it out.So for our honeymoon, that's what we did! And it was well worth it. Everything about the restaurant was great. The food was amazing (all other seafood I eat anywhere else cant even begin to compare) and the restaurant decorations themselves are really cool. I'll post a picture of it, it's difficult to describe.

And this year for our anniversary we decided to go back. I think that means we've established a tradition (which I'm hoping that means we get to go back every year!) And the food was even better this time. We had steamed scallops for an appetizer... and they were by far the best scallops I've ever had. I mean they didnt even taste like what I thought scallops tasted like, no fishiness at all. They were so good that we considered getting a second helping after dessert (unfortunately we were too full by then). Then for our entrees we both got Chilean Sea Bass, which literally fell apart and dissolved in my mouth-- it was that delicate. Honestly the best meal I've ever eaten in my life. But I have to admit that after eating something that tastes SO good, it's probably going to be difficult to eat seafood at normal restaurants, and I certainly cant afford to eat at Morimotos everytime I want seafood. And finally for dessert my husband had chocolate pot de creme while I had an asian pear cooked in oolong tea with ginger ice cream. Again, it was phenomenal.

Ahh Morimotos... I cant wait for our 2 year anniversary!!

Morimoto's Restaurant Posted by Hello



Ahh, Friday night. The work week is over. Well sorta over... not really for me though. Friday night's just arent as exciting when you have to work Saturday morning. Oh well.

I've been keeping busy. I had my first recital on Monday. It went really well. All the kids did a really great job. A few minor mistakes (to be expected), but nothing catastrophic and no one freaked out. About as good as I could have hoped for. I was really nervous going into it, mostly because I wasnt sure what to expect, especially since it was the first recital for pretty much all of my students. Of course I couldnt show that I was nervous because I didnt want my nervous energy spreading to anyone else. However, now that it's over I think it's safe for me to announce... I was nervous. But now I'm looking forward to the next recital, especially since it will be around Christmas time (which means lots of xmas music!)

Quote for the day (it came off my tea bag):

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson



I volunteered to do this for Tom. I dont know many bloggers, so anyone else who comes across this is welcome to fill it out.

3 names I go by:
Jessica, Jess, Bebe

3 Screen-names I've had:
pianojess and fliper (only 2)

3 physical things I like about myself:
My hair, my eyes, and my hands

3 physical things I dislike about myself:
My back, my height (I wish I were about 2 inches shorter), and my arms

3 parts of my heritage:
Irish, German, and French

3 things I am wearing right now:
T-shirt, shorts, wedding ring

3 favorite bands / musical artists:
Hmm... Jars of Clay are my favorite, and 2 other ones i like (in no particular order) are: Beethoven, and Beastie Boys

3 (of many) favorite songs:
only 3??? Well I guess 3 good ones are: Something Beautiful by Jars of Clay, Sunken Cathedral by Claude Debussy, and Somewhere Beyond the Sea

3 things I want in a relationship:
honesty, love, and understanding

3 physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to me:
Eyes, mouth, body

3 of my favorite hobbies:
music theory/history, piano, cooking

3 things I want to do really badly right now:
get a haircut, go to the gym, sleep

3 things that scare me:
needles, being on the top floor of a tall building, and walking alone at night

3 of my everyday essentials:
orange juice, take the dog for a walk, clean

3 careers you have considered or are considering:
english teacher, piano teacher, being a professional student

3 places you want to go on vacation:
Germany, MoMA in NYC, anywhere in Europe

3 kids' names you like:
not sure yet

3 things you want to do before you die:
go to grad school, have a family, go cross country skiing again

3 ways I am stereotypically a boy:
i dont talk about my feelings much, i hate shoe shopping, and I dont like getting manicures/pedicures

3 ways I am stereotypically a girl:
I love musicals, I wear make up (and girly perfume), i cry easily


College Advice

Wise Advice I have received though the years. And I actually followed it.

  • Whenever you write a paper, make sure the subject of the paper is as specific as possible. Dont write about what happened to you one day, write about what happened to you one minute. Dont write about Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, write about the premier day of the Rite of Spring. That way you can give complete and thorough details.
  • Always go to class. Always, always, always.
  • Get to know your professors, visit them during their office hours at least once during the semester. Even if it's just to say hi.
  • Talk to your professors about your tests results when you get them back.
  • Rewriting your notes is a great way to study
  • You dont go to school to be something, you go to school and become something.

I try to tell this to anyone I know that is in college or about to go to college. If I could only pick one of these to follow, it would definately be "always go to class."



Here is my umm... horoscope? from today. If anyone understands what this means, please let me know 1

If love were a three-ring circus, your relationship would have five rings! And ten elephants! And a couple of tigers! And at least one big top! And you wouldn't charge admission, and all visitors would get free popcorn.

On second thought, I probably dont want to know.

Post Ems(hide)
For the record, I think that horoscopes serve entertainment purposes only... which seems to be especially true today.


Weapon of Choice: Dewey Decimal System

Things that have happened today:

  1. It takes my sister a million years to make decisions. um..... um..... um.... (do that a few thousand more times and you will know how i feel). Yet I still have fun with her anyway. After all she did teach me the Cotten-Eyed Joe dance today-- or at least her variation of it. We kinda made up whatever parts she couldnt remember.

  2. My brother loves My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. He has it on his iTunes and it's one of the very few songs he's rated.
    He gave it Star Star Star Star Star stars. Ahh, my brother.

  3. My friend, known as TubaSteve, told me they make a Librarian Action Figure. And he owns it. I find this very amusing. Ha Ha Ha, comes with "amazing shushing action." TubaSteve rocks!

That's all I have to say for today.


Yay for Sunshine

Finally the sun came out. I was getting very sick and tired of all the raininess. When it's gloomy outside I get very groggy and have a hard time being productive, but that changes if the sun is out. So I'm glad it's back... means I get more work done.

Time Waisting Website for the Day: Am I Blue or Not?

Weekend 3


Season Finales

It's that time of the year again... Time to wrap up all my favorite shows in the season finale week. Here are my take on them:

  1. My Wife and Kids (from last week): I love this show. I think the cast is hysterical (except for that little brainiac kid who's just plain annoying). It's one of those shows that I never want to miss, yet seems as though not many other people are watching. So for this season finale the big shocker was (duh duh duuuuh) Jay gets pregnant. Which I suppose is a good way to end a season, definitely makes me want to watch next season. The only problem is that the surprise was TOTALLY given away in the previews. Not in a subtle way either, it was very blunt and caused me to have a "so what I already knew that was going to happen" moment at the end of the show. That being said, it's still a hilarious show and I cant wait for next season.

  2. 24. By far my favorite show to watch. And this finale was no exception. I was surprised because the show ended without a national disaster or one of the main characters being killed off (for real). The whole Jack fakes his death is intriguing. I've heard speculation on the radio that Season 5 will find Jack working black ops with David Palmer, Michelle, Tony, and Chloe. It should be interesting to see what they really do come up with next. And hopefully it will be very different (I could go without the crazy/problem daughter, nuclear threat, spy in CTU, and someone's loved one being a hostage that seems to plague the show each season). But as I stated in my last post on 24, Tony and Michelle live happily ever after and that's really all I care about.

  3. The Contender- I have to admit, I dont care much for boxing. For some reason I just cant find the entertainment in watching two guys beat each other up. However, I did like watching the show. Mostly because the majority of the show was focused on the emotional state of the guys. And let me tell you these guys were emotional. It was pretty much guarenteed that at least one of them would cry at some point in each show (and not because someone was beating the crap out of them). And it wasnt so bad watching the fights because whoever edited it decided that they would put all the big punches in slow motion (probably so the audience knew they were big punches and also for the drama), which helped me understand who was winning (though any time I saw blood, I turned away or closed my eyes-- yuck). The one downfall of the show... you end up liking most of the boxers. So for the finale, I really wasnt rooting for either guy more than the other. It was like "well Sergio is obviously better. and he wants to take care of his mom, so it would be good for him to win." and then at the same time "Manfredo is a good guy, and probably the underdog in this fight (always fun to cheer for the underdog) and he deserves to win too." Either way, seems to me that the result would have been good. So as far as the finale goes, I'd have to say it wasnt the same as the regular shows. We didnt get too see the boxers interact with each other in the days leading up to the fight, no slow-motion punches, or post-fight reflections. (though there were plenty of post-fight talks of a rematch. Seriously people, can we let this fight end before we start talking about the next one... do you have to try to bank in on everything humanly possible?) And congrats to Sergio.

So that's it. All 3 of the shows I watch regularly are over for now.

Now what am I going to watch during the summer?